By Oboh Agbonkhese
A call has been made to Nigerians and government at different levels to take adequate care of soil and water resources as a way out of the current economic recession and food shortage.
Professor Michael Alatise of the Department of Agricultural Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, made the call while delivering the 80th inaugural lecture of the institution, on the topic Harnessing Soil and Water Resources: The Engineer’s Power Pack for Sustainable National Food Production.
Alatise declared that “if soil and water resources are properly harnessed, it can bail Nigeria out of economic recession, create jobs for our virile youths and ensure food security.”
The don said to boost food production there must be, among others, soil classification studies in the eight different hydrological zones of the country; government must to acquire land for would-be farmers, while individual peasant farmers should own their farms in the areas of operations of the Basins for a reasonable fee.
He appealed for appropriate empowerment for engineers to enable them tackle the problems of food production and called for public-private partnerships in irrigated agriculture.
Addressing guest at the lecture, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adebiyi Daramola, who also chaired the occasion commended Professor Alatise, describing him as an innovative teacher, researcher, a leader and mentor of uncommon mental capacity, whose works have positively impacted the society beyond the shores of Nigeria.